T Nation

the Zone

Has anyone read the popular Zone by Sears Barry?
He recommends the 30:30:40 carb protein and fat for each meal (yes every meal!) for fat loss (and many other benefits). His argument is that this ratio promotes optimum insulin level and hormonal balance (good-bad eicosanoids).
I know his books target the general public, but he claims to have worked with athletes also.
From what I’ve heard, carb+fat is a no-no.
Comments anyone? I am confused?

I like Berardi’s Massive Eating protocol better. First of all, you’ll note that your caloric intake is VERY low on Zone, so of course, you’ll lose weight. Second of all, I don’t think it’s necessary to eat fat with every meal. I didn’t like Zone that much when I tried it.

Gotta agree with Stella.

I don’t think we should completely rule out diets like The Zone and the Isocaloric Diet. There has been a lot of research that shows that eating P+C+F, (where the carbs are low GI) can result in a steady blood sugar level.

I have personally used a varition of these diets many times to drop 15-20 lbs. of fat. However, these diets have only brought me down to abour 12% bf.

That being said, the idea of separating meals into P+C and P+F is far better losing fat.

I thik The Zone is a good diet for the average person. It would not surpize me if the FDA eventually changes it’s dieary guidelines to match this diet.

I’d say it’s a great diet for the average person. But I think the average bodybuilder/power lifter needs more and different sources of proteins, carbs, vitamins, etc. But I haven’t looked into it much.

Thanks guys! I agree: the diet might promote health/wellness while simultaneously helping people lose some fat and gain a little muscle, but it’s definitely not for serious bodybuilders. Nevertheless, it does make a good point on the importance essential fatty acids in our diet.

Please note that the majority of the examples that Barry Sears uses in his book are endurance athletes.

Also, if you read the first part of the book carefully, you’ll notice that he bases most of the theories of the book on assumptions that are made early on. Most people reading the book get hooked on the theory, and forget that it’s all based on assumptions. That’s not to argue with the results that he’s documented – cant argue with hard evidence. But as was pointed out, it IS a calorie restricted diet. Probably not the best for supporting maximum muscle mass.

the zone is a great diet for most of the regular people out there. It basically makes you focus on what you are eating and how much you are eating. It is also very calorie restricted. the 40/30/30 approach isn’t a bad idea. that is pretty much i use when i bulk up, not following the Zone’s calorie or block recommendations. However, at 3500kcal, 40/30/30, or around that is a great ratio to keep healthy and add mass.
As a dieting approach, I wouldn’t recommend it. Its great for the average person who wants to drop weight and does care if they are loosing muscle or fat. However, for the serious gym rat, who wants a sculptured Adonis, stay away from the Zone, you will loose too much hard-earned lean muscle mass.